Is that Poetry Publisher/Contest a Scam?

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Is that Poetry Publisher/Contest a Scam?

Postby Lady Maven » Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:46 pm

I noticed so many of you are poets. Not really my thing (considering I SUCK at writing them) but darned if I'll let you get scammed by someone who doesn't care about you, your work, or your readers.

There exist people who want nothing more than to seperate you from your money. Some, like grocers, give you fair value for your money. Some, like vanity publishers do not. How do they scam you? They tell you you are wonderful when you are mediocre at best, or as in the poem I sent to one, trully dreadful. They tell you that you are in a select class, when you are NOT.

Poetry.com is a prime example. If you write any sort of drivel at all so long as it is over 4 lines they will accept you for their anthology. Is it a scam? Depends. Will you be published in an anthology? Yes. Will you recieve the customary writer's copy free? No. Will you ever be seen in a bookstore? NO! The only person they are marketing to is YOU. They sell you that book at 50 dollars. If they get 10000 people submit and 1% falls for it they will have $5,000. But they don't get 10k, they get 10's of thousands. Every month. No person I have ever spoken to has ever won the cash prize.

Take this lovely example:

Prof. LaBelle conducted a test stimulated by an ad for a poetry contest. I've seen this ad in magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly. ``New Poetry Contest $48,000.00 in Prizes,'' the headline of the ad screams.

The ad explains that ``The National Library of Poetry to award 250 total prizes to amateur poets in coming months.''

Suspicious, Prof. La Belle talked three friends into submitting entries to one of The National Library's contests. Her first friend submitted a patchwork poem comprised of random sayings collected from Chinese fortune cookies. A second friend copied a lyric poem of Emily Dickinson's and en--tered it in the contest under her own name. The third friend wrote an original piece of irrational doggerel about female breasts.

All three of Prof. LaBelle's friends were notified that they were semi-finalists in the contest and that they should be ``genuinely proud of this accomplishment'' because they were possessed of ``a rare talent.''

By now you see how the bait and the vanity have been hooked. The next step, like one lifted from ``The Sting,'' is to get the ``poet'' to part with his or her money.

``We wish to publish your poem in a forthcoming anthology,'' Prof. LaBelle's friends were informed. To have a copy of this book, entitled, ``Sparkles in the Sand,'' the winners were urged to send in $49.95, plus $4 for postage and handling.

For an additional $20, the publishers would add a short biographical note about the poet. This note was allegedly designed to bring the writers to the attention of the media and the public.

Later, these ersatz poets were offered a chance to have their poems mounted under Lucite on a walnut plaque, an offer costing $38. Furthermore, they could have their poems recorded on a cassette tape for $29.95.

The tape, according to The National Library of Poetry, would feature a well-known narrator and baroque music accompaniment.

LaBelle' friends were offered a chance to join the International Society of Poets, with a membership fee of $125. Each one was notified he or she had been nominated as ``Poet of the Year,'' and could attend an induction ceremony in Washington, D.C., for a convention fee of $495, plus travel and hotel
expenses.


Of coure you and I are brilliant and posessed of the rare intellect that allows us to see through scams and never become a victim, aren't we?

See how a compliment earns your complete agreement?

Is it a scam? maybe, read the following links and find out:

http://windpub.com/literary.scams/ From Wind Publishing

http://windpub.com/submitting.htm They are small, but legit.
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Postby Lady Maven » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:57 pm

As has been pointed out, I have posted nothing about how to get that poetry legitimately published.

There is a reason for this. It is like asking me "How do I get my book published". There is a whole bunch of missing information. What kind of poem? Who is your audience?

That being said, my advice if you are serious is to buy a current market book. Either harcopy, or my prefernce, e-copy:

http://www.writersmarket.com/

3.99 a month. If you aren't willing to spend that, stop wasting your time and mine.
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but to skid in sideways totally worn out screaming "HOLY SHIT ..... what a ride"!!
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Postby Lady Maven » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:12 pm

How to tell it's a fake contest:

1. What is the prize?

If it is thousands, or hell, hundreds, it's a fake. You ARE NOT going to make that kind of money on one poem. Kiss your guardian angel on the mouth if you make it on a book of poetry.

2. Where was it advertised?

Was it a national magazine with thousands of subscribers? FAKE!. Was it in a magazine that you did NOT pick up because it is a lterary magazine? FAKE! (Unless it is a poem for a contest THAT magazine is holding). Real contests have too many submissions as is. They have neither the manpower, nor the money to pay the manpower, to read tens of thousands of subscriptions.

3. Is it a rip off of the name of a real publisher? (such as EverKnight as opposed to Evernight)

Fake.

4. Is it free?

Fake. Legit literary contests charge a reading fee.

5. Is it outrageously expensive to enter?

I'd suspect anything over $20.00. You can expect between 5 and 15.

6. Are you graciously allowed to spend more money?

Do you get to buy a copy of your work, an anthology, a mug, etc? It's a fake.

7. How often is it run?

Once a year is average and doable. Several a month or even quarter? Suspect? ALWAYS runs? Fake.

8. Read the fine print. Does the mere act of submitting mean you have given up all rights to your manuscript? If it says this then they can use it free from then on without ever giving you a dime or even credit.

9. Do you have to use them as your agent or publisher if you win?

NO reputable agent or publisher will do this. They are beating back writers with a large stick. They don't need you. Using it for publicity for the contest is normal and acceptable.

10. Are there perks?

Critiques or meetings with industry professionals are often a worthwhile feature of the more high-profile contests. Worth more than any cash prize. However, you should never be asked to pay extra for this perk. Also, be sure that the professionals really are professionals. A legitimate contest should clearly state their names and credentials.

11. Do they claim you will see your manuscript in major bookstores?

FAKE!! No major bookstore will ever stock these books. Don't believe me? Go ask.
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but to skid in sideways totally worn out screaming "HOLY SHIT ..... what a ride"!!
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Re: Is that Poetry Publisher/Contest a Scam?

Postby Voice Elessar » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:56 pm

Thread has served its purpose.
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